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Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, July 21, 2024


None of the V.I. government's 26 boards and commissions will have a full complement of members when the 24th Legislature is sworn in at the start of next year.
This doesn't mean their voting powers are restricted, as members continue to serve until they are replaced, even after their terms have expired. But it does mean that there's a lot of work to be done.
"Even if the governor started picking names out of a hat right now, we wouldn't have time to do background checks, process applications and interview the nominees by the end of the year," Jim Southerland, an aide to Rules Committee chair Violet Anne Golden, said.
The governor submits his nominations to the Legislature. The nominees then submit applications to the Rules Committee for a background check. After that, the committee interviews each nominee. Nominations approved by the committee are forwarded to the full Senate for a final confirmation vote.
There are key positions vacant or pending on the Public Services Commission, the Coastal Zone Management Commission and the Parole Board. The Water and Power Authority Board is short one member, a replacement for Arthur Downing, whose term expired in 1999.
The Industrial Development Commission recently was able to attain a quorum for the first time in eight months, during which time it had been unable to make decisions. The recent appointment of Rafael Jackson as Tourism commissioner made the quorum possible. The Tourism chief by law not only serves on but chairs the IDC. The other government member is the Internal Revenue Bureau director. Louis Willis has been serving as acting IRB director since Gov. Charles W. Turnbull removed Claudette Farrington from that post in June.
Members who serve on the boards or commissions have varying rates of pay, from a $50 stipend per meeting plus transportation expenses for the Coastal Zone Management Commission, to as much as $100,000 a year for the Casino Commission.
For an extensive list of boards and commissions, click here.

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